Overview

Distribution

SW Sichuan, W Yunnan.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs perennial, rhizomatous, glabrous, often dioecious, sometimes monoecious. Stems greenish to dark brownish, often simple, erect, ascending, or climbing, 15-40 cm tall, 0.6-2 cm in diam., thick, woody at base, succulent distally, internodes 0.3-1 cm, rough; leaf scars conspicuous, semiorbicular, 3-4 mm in diam., Leaves spirally opposite, crowded on upper nodes; stipules persistent, light green, becoming brownish when dry, triangular-ovate, caudate-acuminate, squamose, 7-12 mm, with dense linear cystoliths; petiole unequal in length, 2-17 cm; leaf blade abaxially pale green, adaxially green, suborbicular, peltate, unequal in size, 2.5-9 × 2-8 cm, succulent, papery when dry, 3-veined, lateral veins 3 or 4 on each side, inconspicuous, external secondary veins numerous, anastomosing by margin, finely honeycombed abaxially, cystoliths fusiform, often conspicuous adaxially, base rounded or emarginate, margin entire, rarely inconspicuously undulate, apex rounded or obtuse. Inflorescences solitary, in upper nodes, male inflorescence a cymose panicle, 18-28 cm overall, peduncle thick, 5-14 cm; bracts lanceolate, ca. 0.5 mm; female inflorescence shorter. Male flower purplish, pedicellate, in bud obovoid, ca. 2.5 mm; perianth lobes 4, obovate, connate at base, subapically corniculate; stamens 4; rudmentary ovary oblong. Female perianth lobes unequal, largest lobe cymbiform, 1/2 as long as achene. Achene purplish, broadly ovoid, ca. 0.8 mm, slightly compressed, oblique, verrucose, enclosed by persistent perianth. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Jul-Sep.
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Ecology

Habitat

* Shaded moist rocks in forests; 1500-3000 m.
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Wikipedia

Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides, known as Chinese money plant, lefse plant, or missionary plant, is a species of flowering plants in the family Urticaceae, native to Yunnan Province in southern China. Growing to 30 cm (12 in) tall and wide, it is an erect, succulent, evergreen perennial, with round, dark green, peltate leaves up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter on a long petiole.[1]

P. peperomioides was first collected by George Forrest in 1906, and again in 1910, in the Cangshan mountain range in Yunnan Province.

In 1945 the species was rediscovered by Norwegian missionary Agnar Espegren in Yunnan Province when he was fleeing from Hunan Province. Espegren took cuttings with him back to Norway, by way of India, in 1946 and from there it was spread throughout Scandinavia.

P. peperomioides is an example of a plant which has been spread amongst amateur gardeners via cuttings, without being well-known to botanists. Its true identity was not finally established until the 1980s. The first known published image appeared in the Kew magazine in 1984.[2]

With a minimum temperature of 10 °C (50 °F), in temperate regions P. peperomioides is cultivated as a houseplant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]

See Also[edit]

  • Lunaria annua, also known colloquially as the Chinese money plant in the United States, for its large, flat, silvery seedpods.

References[edit]

  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "A Chinese puzzle solved - Pilea peperomioides". Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pilea peperomioides". Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
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Notes

Comments

This species is very rare and possibly endangered in the wild, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental pot plant in China and other countries.
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